All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

A field test of equivocation theory: Apologies by Canadian churches to indigenous people
Unformatted Document Text:  19 nouns and passive voice. Over half of the clauses describing offences had the church as agent, especially with the nouns, but never with passive voice. The last apology, United 1998, focussed explicitly on the residential school system. In none of the clauses describing offences was the church the agent. The majority were in noun form, with one passive voice (no agent) and one active voice (“system” as agent). This was one of three apologies (along with Anglican 1993 and Presbyterian 1994) that included sexual and physical abuse as offences for which they were apologizing. In all three, this specific clause was in passive voice without agent. Taken together, this analysis suggests that, when faced with the conflict of acknowledging specific offences, the apologizers avoided agent and action, thereby producing indirect or equivocal apologies. The avoidance theory of equivocation can explain these texts. It can also suggest possible solutions, described below. APOLOGIES AND THE LAW The application of conflict theory to the churches’ apologies (above) gave five possible reasons that a full apology might have negative consequences. The evidence from the apologies analyzed seems to implicate one factor more than others, namely, legal liability. The striking difference in language and responsibility between the United 1986 apology and all of the others (included United 1998) leads one to look for other differences that might account for its directness. First, the most obvious difference is the date: it was the first such apology, and there is a five-year interval before the next cluster (1991-1994). As it turns out, it was during this period that the Canadian Supreme Court began to make clear that churches would be responsible for offences in

Authors: Bavelas, Janet.
first   previous   Page 19 of 26   next   last



background image
19
nouns and passive voice. Over half of the clauses describing offences had the church
as agent, especially with the nouns, but never with passive voice.
The last apology, United 1998, focussed explicitly on the residential school
system. In none of the clauses describing offences was the church the agent. The
majority were in noun form, with one passive voice (no agent) and one active voice
(“system” as agent). This was one of three apologies (along with Anglican 1993 and
Presbyterian 1994) that included sexual and physical abuse as offences for which they
were apologizing. In all three, this specific clause was in passive voice without agent.
Taken together, this analysis suggests that, when faced with the conflict of
acknowledging specific offences, the apologizers avoided agent and action, thereby
producing indirect or equivocal apologies. The avoidance theory of equivocation can
explain these texts. It can also suggest possible solutions, described below.
APOLOGIES AND THE LAW
The application of conflict theory to the churches’ apologies (above) gave five
possible reasons that a full apology might have negative consequences. The evidence
from the apologies analyzed seems to implicate one factor more than others, namely,
legal liability. The striking difference in language and responsibility between the United
1986 apology and all of the others (included United 1998) leads one to look for other
differences that might account for its directness. First, the most obvious difference is
the date: it was the first such apology, and there is a five-year interval before the next
cluster (1991-1994). As it turns out, it was during this period that the Canadian
Supreme Court began to make clear that churches would be responsible for offences in


Convention
All Academic Convention is the premier solution for your association's abstract management solutions needs.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 19 of 26   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.